, 2006). Even very brief periods of sound exposure can induce new perceptual skills when the acoustic features have a reliable statistical structure (e.g., a high probability that two sounds occur sequentially).
After only 2 min of experience, infants can discriminate familiar syllable sequences from novel ones, including those from a natural language (Saffran et al., 1996 and Pelucchi et al., 2009). This process of statistical learning may require a certain degree of attention and social interaction (Toro et al., 2005 and Kuhl, 2007). Studies focused on the emergence of vocal behavior in songbirds have demonstrated the importance of early sensory exposure to natural communication sounds on adult perception. In zebra finches, hearing vocalizations begins to influence auditory perception and vocal behavior shortly after auditory brainstem thresholds mature (Amin et al., 2007). Starting at posthatch day 20, juveniles PF-02341066 concentration memorize the songs of adult tutors. This period of auditory learning generates the perceptual templates used for motor learning of vocal production by males. In addition to vocal
ERK inhibitor chemical structure learning, both males and females remember the songs that they hear frequently during development and are attracted to similar sounds in adulthood. For example, zebra finches develop preferences for hearing conspecific song over heterospecific song based on juvenile early experience, and females sexually imprint on the songs that they hear as juveniles (Miller, 1979, Peters et al., 1980, Clayton, 1988, Clayton and Prove, 1989,
Nagle and Kreutzer, 1997, Riebel et al., 2002 and Lauay et al., 2004). Cross-fostering studies provide additional support for the idea that perceptual preferences are shaped by hearing communication vocalizations during development. Both males and females that are raised by adults of another species or subspecies fail to show consistent preferences for conspecific Carnitine dehydrogenase songs as adults and show increased attraction to heterospecific songs (Immelmann, 1969, Clayton, 1988, Clayton, 1990 and Campbell and Hauber, 2009). These studies suggest that juvenile exposure to adult communication sounds influences auditory system maturation, but we do not yet know how to relate the effects of vocal experience on behavior to the functional development of auditory circuits and cellular properties (below). In adults, auditory training on a variety of perceptual tasks inevitably leads to improvement in performance (Recanzone et al., 1993, Wright et al., 1997, Ari-Even Roth et al., 2003, Beitel et al., 2003, Brown et al., 2004, Sakai and Kudoh, 2005, Rutkowski and Weinberger, 2005, Mossbridge et al., 2006, Polley et al., 2006, Blake et al., 2006, van Wassenhove and Nagarajan, 2007, Draganova et al., 2009, Ilango et al., 2010, Bieszczad and Weinberger, 2010 and Comins and Gentner, 2010).